We would like to take a moment to introduce ourselves to you.  At our office, we take pride in having a pleasant, professional, and highly trained staff.  From the moment you enter, you will notice that our team does everything possible to make your visit comfortable.

Our front office staff will welcome you and will do their best to schedule appointments that suit your needs. Our orthodontic assistants are trained in state-of-the art technology for treating children, adolescents and adults.

Dawn S. Thatcher, D.M.D, M.S.

Dr. Thatcher was born and raised in Lancaster, California. She is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara. She completed a double major receiving a BS in Biology and a BA in Religious Studies in 1997. While in school, she worked as the Teen Programs Director for the City of Santa Barbara and served as the Youth Council Advisor. In 1998 she made a big move to Boston and attended Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. She received her DMD in 2002 graduating Summa Cum Laude. She received a full scholarship from the U.S. Navy in exchange for service after graduation. During her time in the Navy she completed an advanced dental training program at Portsmouth Naval Hospital, had her own dental clinic on the U.S.S. Pearl Harbor, ported in San Diego, and treated Marines and Sailors around the world.

While in the Navy, Dr. Thatcher discovered a passion for Orthodontics. Upon completion of her service, she moved to San Francisco and devoted 27 months to learning the latest innovations in orthodontic treatment at the University of the Pacific.

Dr. Thatcher is a premier provider of Invisalign®, she spent two years training with the innovators and has the most up-to-date training available. She is an active member of the Progressive Orthodontic Group that meets annually to review the most effective treatment protocols for creating beautiful smiles efficiently. She is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, American Dental Association, California Dental Association, Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists, Santa Barbara Ventura County Dental Society, and Omicron Kappa Upsilon Dental Honor Society. Dr. Thatcher is actively involved with Rotaplast Intl., she spent 2 weeks in Colombia and 2 weeks in Vietnam, as a volunteer performing surgery on patients repairing cleft lip and palate birth defects. Dr. Thatcher is now a sustaining member of the Junior League of Santa Barbara. She completed 7 active years, 3 of which were as a Board member.

Dr. Thatcher lives in Santa Barbara with her husband Justin and their sons William and Ryker. On the weekends you can find her refereeing for her boys’ AYSO teams, hiking the trails, or playing at our beautiful waterfront.

Our Staff


Lead Clinical Assistant

Ariana is our lead orthodontic assistant, she has been with us since August 2014. She graduated from Allan Hancock’s dental assisting program receiving her radiography, sealant, and coronal polish certificates. Following graduation, she earned her Registered Dental Assistant license with the Dental Board of California.

Ariana lives in Ventura with her boyfriend Mathew and their dog Maui. When not in the office she enjoys spending time with family and friends, staying active, whether its paddle boarding at the beach or snowboarding in the mountains but most important, experiencing new foods, she loves anything food related.

“I can genuinely say that I love what I do and who I work for, Dr. Thatcher is an amazing doctor and friend. We have a lot of fun with our patients and team. Couldn’t imagine being anywhere else, I love my girls and our patients.”

Marleny Maldonado


Clinical Assistant

Marleny Maldonado is one of our clinical dental assistants.  She was born and raised in Santa Barbara and graduated from Santa Barbara High School, Go Dons!!.  She attended Charter College and received her certificate in Dental Assisting. She is currently in the process of finalizing her RDA certification.  Marleny lives with her family in Santa Barbara – she loves hiking and being in our beautiful town.

“I enjoy meeting new patients and helping them feel better about their SMILES! I have a 4 year old son who is very active and keeps me on my toes. I also have two dogs named Bella and Cookie who my son adores. On my free time I enjoy taking my son to the park, going hiking, and spending time with my family.”


Patient Coordinator

Our patient coordinator Alyssa is a native of Santa Barbara. Alyssa Attended local schools in Santa Barbara, graduating from SBCC with her Esthetics License. Alyssa Started as a patient of Dr. Thatcher’s before she joined our team. Experiencing it firsthand gave her an understanding of our patient care needs. Alyssa Lives in Santa Barbara with her husband and her daughter. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, going to the beach, and taking outdoor adventures with her family.

“My goal is to make sure each patient has the best experience at Thatcher Orthodontics.”